Day 49 – Pupil Mentors

Day 49 – Pupil Mentors

Ideally, when developing a project where embedding mobile technology is at the heart of the curriculum, to ensure longevity within the learning community each stakeholder must be able to get involved. Staff are compelled to do so, as part of the development plan it is an initiative that has been agreed and has the backing of governors.  It’s also crucial for the student to have a major stake in making the process a success. This conundrum can be quickly dismissed and end up being the obvious candidates or the usual ‘good eggs’ ;  it is important that in any community of learners that everyone has the chance to shine and take part.

So it got me to thinking about pupils as mentors. At my last school, it was open to all and a healthy cross section of pupils came forward lured perhaps by a shiny lapel badge. Slightly biased towards the boys but not exclusively. So which qualities should the student possess and then how and who do you pick? If last weeks cross curricular learning demonstrated all pupils were willing to be part of the fun and help their peers along…perhaps its deeper than that?

Digital leaders need to feel confident that they possess the skills to communicate effectively with their peers and adults.

They are ambassadors for doing the right thing, the embodiment of being a confident, connected and collaborative learner.

Task 1: Opportunity to shine: 

Application of skills. Year 5&6 are used to programming in Hopscotch. They love it and get absorbed by the challenge of creating a game or scenario that they control. So today, I introduced Scratchjr. In this coding app for young children, the blocks of code known as ‘sprites’ are used to control the program, building the coding blocks by tapping on the correct category.

I purposely chose this app as it gives a tutorial that is accessible by all. You don’t need to be able to decipher and read instructions, or in fact speak English as the ‘follow my leader’ style of tutorial supports all learners with its visual presentation.

So the task was simple, follow the tutorial and replicate the programme. It used all the features of the programme and so was a compact way to navigate the programme and be introduced to the skills.

This was for Year 5&6 easy to do and they quickly submitted their templates work. Moving swiftly onto designing their own more elaborate and multi layered simulation.

With Year 3&4, following the tutorial was less easy, as it was their first attempt at programming beyond learning the individual blocks of code, algorithms and debugging devices.

My task was not made easier as success was evident in the focus and concentration that it took for all of the students to complete the course of instruction. For the majority, the tutorial was too quick so when the video was reduced into bite sized pieces of information success soon followed. The proof will come when their recall is tested on a new project! I was so proud of their resolve to succeed that any one of them could be a digital ambassador.

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